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Revealing Feminism in Shrek

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Lanae Gagnon

on 19 January 2015

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Transcript of Revealing Feminism in Shrek

Thesis
~In this presentation, we will be looking at common female stereotypes of fairytale characters and show how both Fiona and the Dragon in Shrek do not follow the typical path of a female in a fairytale.
Introduction
The Dragon
~The Dragon is an interesting character that is assumed to be male yet is played by a female.
~At first the dragon behaves as a woman should in a fairytale
~she is gullible and vain.
~She is easily flattered and lets herself be seduced by Donkey, forgetting her duties to guard the castle tower.

Minor Characters:
The Typical Princesses
~Cinderella and Snow White:
"typical princess"
Follow the pattern of how females should be in a fairytale:
-Love to cook and clean
-Naive and weak
-Rely on men to save them
Chanel, Raphaela, Sanskruti, Lanae
Revealing Feminism in Shrek
~In the movie Shrek, director Mike Myers deviates from the stereotypical fairytale by illustrating the female characters in Shrek as independent, strong women who defy the patriarchal expectations society has of them.
Fiona: The Feminist Heroine
Fiona is arguably the most complex character in the movie.
in the beginning of the movie, we see her as the typical princess
She is shown as weak and well-mannered and waits for her "knight in shining armor" to rescue her from her
curse.

Once Fiona is rescued she no longer needs to hide behind her female stereotypical characteristics
Fiona acts as her own individual
We see Fiona for who she really is as she fights off Robin Hood and his band of men.
Fiona continues to defy her expectations as a fairytale princess as she burps in Shrek's presence
~later on, dragon returns and helps Donkey and Shrek by taking them to the castle to stop Fiona from marrying Lord Farquaad.
~This turns our previous views of the Dragon being a naive female-type character to an assertive and powerful character
~she ends up saving the male, rather than the typical "knight in shining armor" scene that is so common in fairytales.
Analyzing Shrek from a Feminist Perspective: Questions a Feminist Would Ask
Patriarchal society, women viewed as objects rather than people
Women are denied a voice, especially when it comes to the desires of a man.
~Example: Prince Farquad chooses his princess based on looks. He does not meet these women personally nor does he consider their feelings.
Almost all the characters in Shrek are male
Women are expected to be the "stereotypical female" and are seen as undesirable and unconventional if they're are not what society expects them to be
~(we see this in the case of Fiona and the Dragon).
Fiona initially acts poised and well-mannered when Shrek rescues her, but she eventually shows her true self, which shocks Shrek and Donkey.
When Fiona proves that she is not the stereotypical princess, she is defying society's expectations of her and essentially breaking the mold for women of her time.
Women are seen as objects in romantic relationships.
Women are powerless in their own relationships.
They have no control over who they are allowed to date.
They also are not given the choice that a man is given in a relationship.
A man is allowed to chose the woman we wants and a woman is expected to silently agree with this.
~Example: Prince Farquad uses princess Fiona to improve his own social status.
Males in this society are privileged with control in a relationship, while women are excluded from experiencing these freedoms.
Are women a significantly contributing member of society, or are they marginalized excluded as the 'other'?
Cinderella and Snow White are illustrated as typical fairytale princesses
Mike Myers Does this as a satire of society's ignorance towards women
Fiona and the Dragon are demonstrated as powerful females with a fair share of contribution
They defy society's expectations
Shrek demonstrates progression in feminism.
Is this society patriarchal? How does this society oppress women?
What are the romantic roles of women? Do they have their own power and choice? Or are they used as objects?
Conclusion
~Shrek is a progressive film

~Illustrates Fiona and the Dragon as characters that defy female stereotypes

~Dragon and Fiona display strength and independance
-Female dragon, saves the men in the film
-Fiona fights off robin hood all on her own.

How closely do men and women follow traditional gender roles and expectations?
~Shrek is a strong male lead
-Saves the princess from the tower
-Escapes the dragon,
~Donkey is not as brave as the typical males seen in fairytales.

~The females are far from weak and submissive
Are actually:
-Aggressive
-Independant

_____________
Fiona's True Colors
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